HABITAT INTERNATIONAL COALITION
Focal Points Directory
WORLD ASSEMBLY OF URBAN INHABITANTS
Make our voices heard
Mexico City, 2-6 October 2000
Within the frame of the World Assembly of Urban Inhabitants, the workshop on "the collective ideal" initiated on 3 October in the Casa de la Primera Imprenta, with the participation of 22 delegates from Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Brasil, El Salvador and Mexico.
The following six documents (in Spanish) were read to provide the starting point for the debate:
* The Jalapa Declaration,
July 2000, product of the Mexican national preparatory meeting
Distinct conceptions for the building of a collective ideal were integrated during the debate. The concept was understood by some as a "dream", as that objective that we as urban inhabitants aim to reach. To achieve it we must work to try to waken people, that they know their rights. We can only make the ideal reality if we all join forces.
It was also mentioned that building a collective ideal is the dream that organized inhabitants from throughout the world can make reality, because only through organizing ourselves can we undertake development projects.
Some spoke of building the ideal through power, indicating that our organizations should manage themselves under a common code, looking towards world integration, as one homeland.
To achieve the utopia of the ideal we must have clear that we are a collective, and that to confront our own needs we must wake up to collective life, understanding that alone we can not. Only then, when we are located in our ideal, will we be able to think in democracy, in that which speaks to us of communitary participation.
The collective ideal is built through what people think, by sharing objectives and needs through a solidarity unification, allowing all of those who never do so to express themselves. Also through fighting for a world where wealth is not concentrated in a few but benefits the immense majority, and assigning social power to the excluded.
It is precisely in the building of a collective ideal that we look to reweave the social fabric through approaching the community to know if the concept they have of the ideal is the same as we share. In this way we recognize ourselves in our diversity and differences.
As social leaders we should understand that we do not have the solution to all the problems of our communities, and that it is not through a paternalistic attitude that the ideal is built. Rather we must ask ourselves if we, having power, know how to exercise it, and if we can direct the development of the collectives. We must understand that it will only be possible with the education and organization of the bases in the search for an equitable world, raising consciousness about the rights we have as citizens and where we can all undertake our roles in an igalitarian way.
In this way, a list of key concepts was obtained to be worked on in the elaboration of our own strategies to be implemented in our diverse communities for the building of a collective ideal:
Drafting Team: Cristina Almazán, Teolinda Bolívar, Yolanda Feria